Thailand’s parliament has voted to reject opposition lawmaker Pita Limjaroenrat’s nomination to become the country’s next prime minister.
Wednesday’s vote was the second time in a week that Pita had sought the post after leading his Move Forward Party and its coalition parties to an upset victory in May’s parliamentary elections, giving the eight-party coalition 312 seats in the 500-member House of Representatives as voters rejected candidates from military-backed parties, which have ruled Thailand for nine years.
But Pita fell more than 50 votes short in his initial attempt to win the post due to strong opposition in the conservative, military-backed Senate.
The vote came hours after Thailand’s Constitutional Court ruled that Pita be suspended from parliament while it hears a case alleging he violated election laws.
The court’s ruling was handed down a week after the election commission said there was evidence the leader of the Move Forward Party owns shares in a media company, a violation that would bar him from running for office.
The company, iTV, has been defunct for years. Pita argues that his ownership of shares was not a violation of election rules.
He could also be banned from politics and face several years in prison if he is tried and convicted on the allegations.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse.